This article was written by Sam Pickford.
BLOOMSBURG – Imagine being a parent who has just drove several hours to pick up their child from college for the weekend. Upon pulling up to their dorm hall, you ignore a sign that says “no parking,” put on your hazard lights, and shoot your college-kid a text message telling them you’re here.
You look out the window to see your child lugging multiple bags of dirty laundry, and before you know it a bright yellow ticket has been tucked snugly onto your windshield, right under your nose.
For a lot of Bloomsburg parents, this irksome situation is one they are all too familiar with.
“Because of the blocking off of Tri Level, I have nowhere to park and pick my son up after his classes on Friday. They gave me a $40 ticket while sitting in my car and waiting on my son to leave his building,” said Riley’s mother Paula Walpole.
Riley Walpole, 19, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University, has seen his share of parking altercations during his residence in Elwell Hall.
“East Second Street is such a busy area on campus, I see people getting dropped off and picked up here more than anywhere.”
According to signs surrounding each side of the road, idling in these areas is completely off limits and will result in a ticket. While these signs are large and easy to see, they have little to no effect on the parents and students that use the sides of this roadway, because going elsewhere to park would be an inconvenience.
” Because of the blocking off of Tri Level, I have nowhere to park and pick my son up after his classes on Friday. They gave me a $40 ticket while sitting in my car and waiting on my son to leave his building,” said Riley’s mother Paula Walpole.
Tri Level, located at the bottom of the hill on East Second street is arguably one of the biggest designated parking areas on lower campus. The issue is its accessibility, constantly being roped off for the day, or even over the weekend depending on campus events. Above Tri level also lies another lot, although it is strictly capped off for faculty only, making both parking areas inaccessible to parents and students.
With nowhere to go, people are often found lining their cars on the sides of the street with their hazards on. Signs around them read, “FIRE LANE, No Parking. $50.00 Fine Tow Away Zone.”
BU Parking Enforcement heavily patrols this area, often leaving tickets on windshields of cars who are idling there for as little as two minutes. Alisa Dodge of the BU Police Center explained,” parking enforcement patrols from 8am-4pm weekly,” and they “often get complaints from tickets received on East Second Street.”
“I’ve seen a ton of cars get tickets on the stretch outside of Elwell. And there’s cars in the same place delivering food, but I’ve never seen them ticketed before,” said Meg Ronan, A Bloomsburg University student.
According to the University’s online parking information, visitors must obtain a short-term hangtag to put on their car, and park at any legally lined area on campus. These hangtags can be found at multiple buildings across campus such as Carver Hall and University Police building.
The permittable lots consist of Tri-level, as well as the Rec Center lot. These two locations are very far away from East Second Street, which contributes to the constant pick up and drop off traffic outside of Elwell.
“I will not park that far out to avoid a ticket. Bloomsburg needs to re-think this, it’s ridiculous,” says senior Angela Kinder.
Bloomsburg University has not openly addressed the complaints of parking on East Second Street at this time.